One More Time Around

I advanced slowly into the lair, trying to stretch out my senses beyond their human, mortal limits.  Danger, the kind of danger that could instantly and permanently put my lights out, lurked around every corner.  I needed to trust my intuition.

Right now, my intuition was sending up all sorts of smoke signals and setting off all kinds of alarm bells about the corner ahead.  I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but I tightened my two-handed grip on the purloined pistol I’d taken from the entrance guard.

After all, with his head staved in, he didn’t need it any longer. Continue reading

Flywheels

They drive me mad, I think. Even at night, laying awake in my bed and staring up at the oppressive ceiling, I hear them turning, feel them grinding down my body.

The engineers claim that it’s free energy, the next step in our world’s evolution. It’s what the world needs, and everyone wants more. The production lines are running full steam, building them bigger and bigger.

The fools. None of them see our approaching doom, drawn closer by each turn of their infernal wheels. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 10.2: The Celestial Court

Continued from Chapter 10.1, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 10: Do what makes you happy.

The woman in the shabby little office had thrown back the curtains, blinding me with the light that came shining in.  But when I lowered my hand from in front of my eyes, I was no longer sitting in a small little book-filled room.

Instead, I sat on the same rickety chair – but it was in the middle of a huge amphitheatre, spreading out in all directions, rising up almost too high in the sky for me to see the top.

And every seat in the amphitheatre was filled by angels. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 10.1: The Moral Debate

Continued from Chapter 10.0, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 10: Do what makes you happy.

“What?”  I didn’t understand what the woman sitting on the other side of the desk meant.

“The price,” she repeated patiently, looking at me.  “You asked what it would take to bring your friends back, to put a stop to the Apocalypse, to restore everything back to normal.  You said that you would be willing to do anything.

“And that, it seems, is exactly the price for you.”

I felt like my stomach was dropping away from me, like I was in the front seat of a roller coaster that had just plunged over the first big drop on the ride.  “I don’t understand.” Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 10.0: The Professor’s Office

Continued from Chapter 9.2, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 10: Do what makes you happy.

At first, I was certain that I’d somehow screwed things up.

I had imagined that, upon stepping through that door, I might find myself in some vast tribunal, some sort of huge celestial court where I’d have to argue my case to God himself, standing in a massive room and with a billion angels all staring down at me.  No pressure, of course.

But instead, I found myself standing in a small, rather shabby feeling office.  I felt like I’d landed back on earth, in one of the rear rooms in some community college department building.  This felt like the kind of space where an elderly English professor might spend his tenured twilight days, reading papers that no one else ever touched and writing responses that no one would ever get around to reading. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 9.2: The Library

Continued from Chapter 9.1, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 9: Don’t lose hope.

The first difference that hit me, after I stepped through the door at the top of the stairs, was the silence.

Of course, this might have been the first thing that I noticed because, despite all my survival instincts screaming at me to keep my eyes open, those lids were firmly shut as I passed through.  I’m not sure why – maybe I thought that, if I didn’t look at any of the eldritch horrors on the other side, they wouldn’t be able to hurt me.

But after a couple seconds of listening to silence, I finally opened my eyes.

Books.  My first impression came as a single word.  Books, millions upon millions of books. Continue reading

Apocalypse Love Story, Part III

Link to Part I.

Link to Part II.

This time, Elizabeth must have known that I was chasing her. Her trail got harder to follow; she even left Goldy behind at one point in a stable, selling her off to some no-good breeder that looked at her like a piece of damn meat.

Needless to say, I got my horse back.

But I kept on tracing her. Elizabeth. I couldn’t get her out of my head, couldn’t shake that tug of her. Every time I thought about giving up the chase, I just sensed her out there, and knew, somehow, she needed my help.

Damn woman led me all the way to Boston before I found her. Continue reading

Apocalypse Love Story, Part II

Part I is here.

Took me two months to track her down. Would’ve gone faster, if she hadn’t stolen my damn horse.

Of course, that was what got her in the end. Horses are worth their weight in plat, these days. Hell, more than that. I’d gladly trade a king’s ransom in plat for another Goldy, although I wouldn’t mind if my next steed didn’t have quite the attitude problem. And maybe a little more loyalty, too.

But when I finally hauled my ass into the next little collection of broken-down shacks that someone decided to call a town, I asked around, and sure enough, they’d seen my horse. Continue reading

Apocalypse Love Story, Part I

It certainly wasn’t love at first sight, I’ll tell you that much.

Hell, the first time I laid eyes on her, I wasn’t even sure that she was human. Always was good at disguises, she was. Bent over double, big robe hiding any sort of detail about her limbs, hauling that overloaded cart… well, I thought she might be one of them Minos, at first, not a real person.

Not that Minos can’t be good people. Met some great ones, fought alongside ’em, strong as Hell and twice as angry once they start seeing red, you know…

Anyway. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 9.1: The Climb (haven’t we done this before?)

Continued from Chapter 9.0, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 9: Don’t lose hope.

Although this really, really didn’t seem like the time for introspection, I couldn’t help but reflect, as I ran through what seemed to be Heaven’s equivalent of a loading dock, on how I ended up here.

Just a little while ago (days? weeks? months?), I’d been living a totally ordinary life, headed out to the mall to pick up another pair of jeans from Gap.  Next thing I knew, the Apocalypse hit, I’d been plunged into living like a hermit in a Starbucks, and I had no idea what, if anything, would exist in my future.

And then, first Alice stumbled into my life, and then Eremiel.  Somehow, even though I’d only known the two of them for a few days, I found myself intensely attached to them, barely able to consider the idea of living without either of them filling my life with irritation and adventure. Continue reading